Category Archives: Monthly Roundups

May ’19 Roundup

spider mens

This has been a weird couple of months to be on social media: two massive pop cultural events, Avengers: Endgame and the final season of Game of Thrones both happened, and I wasn’t directly involved with either them. And yet I could still, quite effectively, absorb what was going on by osmosis. Exhausting, exhilarating osmosis. Oh, the thinkpieces. Oh, the reaction threads. Oh, the memes, and the memes that sprung from thinkpieces and other people’s reactions, and the memes that sprung from those, all in an endless spiral. Chaos is a Twitter feed. That’s what that recurring line from the show is, right? Tyrion definitely said that at one point.

One big discussion that sprung from these two big to-dos was the question of “shocking” your audience with a twisty-turny plot they couldn’t predict. I even chimed in! I may well make that into a Big Post at some point, but there are my thoughts for now. I promise I wrote that out because I genuinely find the study of genre interesting and not just because, well, everyone else had a take fresh out of the oven, so I felt the need to have one as well. It’s quite fascinating, really, to be part of a social climate that so actively dives into discussion and dissection of culture and media on such a large scale. Does it become exhausting sometimes? Yes, especially when these Big Events happen in quick succession of one another. But it’s also exciting to wander among a field rich with analysis, with people genuinely interrogating why a story fell flat, or why it felt good, or why we should maybe take a look at the consumer and marketing culture around fiction.

Now I can see I lived through what is likely to go down in media history as one of the biggest months in pop culture engagement. I was there, Gandalf. There were so many memes.

On the blog:

Of Cosmic Stakes and Personal Stories (Spider Verse, Infinity War, and Others) – in which I return to the theme of “character stories are more engaging than Big Stakes” this time through the lens of Into the Spider Verse, which called to me significantly more than a certain other crossover movie.

Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Unicorns, University, and the Underworld – featuring The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myth and Magic, Every Heart a Doorway, and Songs That Sound Like Blood. (Additional note: I have now also read Down Among the Sticks and Bones, the prequel to Every Heart, and it also blew me away. Just in case you want a bonus recommendation!)

Around the webzone (get it? Web? Because Spider-Man?):

Avengers: Endgame Didn’t Earn Its Big “Girl Power” Moment – speaking of Endgame takes… here’s one from someone who wasn’t mightily impressed with the franchise’s performative attempt at feminism. It’s all very well to have a big splash-page-style lineup of all your lady heroes, but it rings a little hollow when they don’t get the same weight in the plot as the men in their lives.

How the Straight Agenda Ruined Avengers: Endgame – continuing to speak of, this article articulates well how characters are parceled off into traditionally, normative “happy endings” of wives and kids, which, in many cases, feels unearned, out of place, or downright contradictory to the rest of their arcs up to this point (you can’t just leave Bucky in the dirt!! Who do you people think you are??)

8 Decades of SFF with Low, Intimate Stakes – also fitting nicely with the theme of my superhero post, here is a bundle of speculative fiction recommendations that focus on smaller, more character-driven stories rather than quests to save the universe.

You Can’t Change Your Favourite Pop Culture – But You Can Change the Way You Engage With It – alongside Endgame, the other hot ticket finale this month was Game of Thrones, which sparked some… discourse, to say the least. But, as this article gets into, you can not enjoy a piece of media without demanding that it be remade to suit you.

A Decade of LGBTQ YA Since Ash – as well as writing real good books, Malinda Lo gathers annual statistics on queer YA in the publishing industry. Ten years after Ash hit the shelves, she gathers those stats into one post to see how far things have come since then. She also has another great post looking at the stats of award-winners over the past years, tracking who is represented as well as providing some insight into how these awards work… and if these awards provide any real notion of what a “good” queer book is in the first place.

And this month, podcasts recommendations are back!

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Shedunnit is a podcast that digs into The Golden Age of Crime Fiction, examining the tropes, history, and context of famous detective novels from authors like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. What is the cultural significance of Miss Marple being an unmarried woman? What role does food (and a new public understanding of poisons) play in detective fiction? Where and how can we find queer subtext in these books? How were the “rules” of a good mystery codified? The answers to all these are fascinating, and beautifully produced, featuring plenty of interviews with historical experts and avid readers.

A short one this time round, but there it is! Take care everyone!

 

 

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Let’s Get This Bread: April ’19 Roundup

Janet

Gif via mingrose

And so passes the month of April: the seasons are changing, semester is coming to an end, I’m getting a cold right before I have to do a guest lecture (naturally), and I’m keeping up with Game of Thrones entirely through memes. What else was happening on the internet this month?

On the blog:

Fun with “Canon AUs” in The Good Place – a look at how the timeline-rebooting, universe-hopping, relationship-focussed series draws on fanfic techniques.

Bloom: A Graphic Novel That Made Me Cry About Bread – a review of a very sweet graphic novel about romance, growing up, and baking.

Other reading:

Having recently watched the 1986 Transformers movie myself, I feel like I’m obligated to share Hbomb’s take on it (yes, I know I opened with one of his videos last time as well, it’s just The Good Content). Given that the movie itself sort of washed over me in a neon haze, it was enlightening to hear someone dig into what it was actually saying amidst all that colour and noise–and it turns out it’s saying something pretty hopeful and powerful.

Listen Up, Bitches, it’s Time to Learn Incorrect Things About Someone You’ve Never Heard Of – a dissection of the genre of angry, flippant posts (or Tweet threads) that purport to aggressively “educate” the foolish masses about how historical figures were Problematic, Actually; a grating combo of fake history, callout/canceled culture, and the idea that putting a lot of swearing in your argument makes you correct factually and morally. I’ve seen a fair few posts like this, but never seen them discussed and typified before, so this was as interesting as it was cathartic.

Queerness and the Power of “Subtext” in Sound! Euphonium vs Liz and the Blue Bird – a comparison of the portrayal of two relationships in the same series, and how one is switched out for a heterosexual plotline partway through while the other lets a full romantic arc play out, ending up ultimately more satisfying for viewers.

Land of the Lustrous – Episode One – Nick Creamer embarks on episodic reviews of the acclaimed sci-fi/fantasy hybrid about living gems and delves deep into its core theme of “no matter how broken you are, you can be put back together”, how the show gets that across, and what makes it meaningful, in a very articulate and moving way.

It’s Not About Easy Mode: FromSoftware and the Question of Video Game Difficulty – with the release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice came a whirlwind of discussion about the question of accessibility and difficulty in games, which I think this article sums up nicely.

Carole and Tuesday and How We Talk About Music – a dive into the themes of a sci-fi series set in a future where music is no longer created by humans, but instead by algorithms, what comments this makes about the real world, and how the characters’ simple desire to express themselves takes the usual story of “rebellion against an evil sci-fi dystopia” in a different and more personal direction.

Bloom Into You and Exploring Asexuality – a personal look at Bloom Into You from an ace perspective, and how Yuu’s messy relationship with romance not only suggests an ace reading of her character but accurately reflects the ace experience of growing up.

Spoiler Paranoia is Ruining Pop Culture – a look at the current “spoiler” obsessed marketing and fandom discussion around big events like Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones and how it’s a product of a very specific moment in history and culture (and marketing… because capitalism has to get its little hands on everything, huh?).

And of course it was premiere review time! Check out the pickings from this season of anime. (I’m not seeing much that calls to me… though admittedly it’s been very fun and fascinating to be involved in fandom while an Ikuhara show is currently airing. What will Sarazanmai throw at us next? Who can say?)

Let’s wrap up with a song, and one of the most indisputably powerful combination-lecture-musical-performance I’ve ever witnessed:

Take care, all!

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In Which I Am a Fate Blog Again: March ’19 Roundup

saber class blogger

March was a busy month for me, but with a slightly different flavour of busyness. I travelled to Sydney for some Serious Things but, while we were there, my friends (the famous CP and WB you see me mentioning from time to time across the history of this blog) and I took the chance to see the Australian premiere of the second Heaven’s Feel movie, Lost Butterfly, and check out the convention it was hosted by during the day. I hadn’t been to a con for maybe six or seven years, and at the risk of sounding cheesy it was sort of magical walking back into that world of concentrated pop culture love.

It was also deeply surreal, because a significant portion of said con was taken up by Fate; including a massive banner advertising Fate/Grand Order that crossed three windows in the convention space, a special booth full of Grand Order-related goodies including the opportunity to “summon” a Servant by pressing a big button, an interview panel with some voice actors and staff for the upcoming Chapter Babylon anime, and enough Fate cosplayers to populate a small town. And of course bucketloads of merchandise, including some plush toys I… may have purchased. How is this series so niche and weird and yet so ginormous and unstoppable?

In any case, it was an overall pretty fun and rewarding experience, and I basically walked out of the movie after a day neck-deep in Fate (only to be immediately caught in the rain and drenched… life imitates art, I guess!) full of renewed love for the darned thing. As I reflected on in my ‘Love and Also Monsters’ post, while there are a lot of problems with this series overall, I think I’m at the point to happily acknowledge that it holds a really special place in my heart and probably will continue to do so for a long time. It’s been sparking my critical and creative imagination for years now and I’m still finding new things to write about it, it contains some characters and themes are deeply important to me emotionally, shared interest introduced me to some really great long-distance friends, and it low-key got me back into mythology which is now a key part of my thesis a.k.a. my job. I’m married to this beautiful garbage fire, for better or worse.

The heart of this introspective ramble is that it actually feels really good to have a work (or collection of works) that I can be so passionate about, even with its ups and downs. It’s fun, it’s meaningful, it’s intellectually stimulating, and I honestly hope that everyone can find a story that inspires that feeling, whether it’s a novel or a piece of poetry or a game or a trashy fantasy-action anime franchise. We’ve all got That One Story, you know? I think it’s an important thing to have. Stories keep us afloat in this mad world we live in.

They also fill you with the spur-of-the-moment urge to spend money on replica swords, but… look, it sparked joy. And now I can, if need me, chase off a home invader with a replica of Caliburn. Anyway, what did I write this month?

On the blog:

Love and Also Monsters: The Emotional Priorities of Type-Moon’s Fantasy – just in time for said Heaven’s Feel movie to break my heart in the best way, I do some musing on how the Fate storyworld grounds its epic fantasy conflicts in personal relationships, and why that works.

Stranger Things‘ Problem with Female Friendship (and How Season Three Can Fix It, Please, For God’s Sake) – just in time for the hype surrounding season three, I gather my thoughts on the spooky-synth series’ issues with prioritising romance and not letting its lady characters bond.

Further reading around the webzone:

Let’s begin with some video content…

An analysis of the themes and personal politics that run through the content of the McElroy brothers, from their advice podcast to the narrative they construct in The Adventure Zone. A fascinating and ultimately heartwarming deep dive (which… really kind of makes me want to get into TAZ. People have been telling me to. It’s just a lot of hours, guys! I’m not denying that it sounds good! I’m sorry!!)

An escapade into the evolution of VHS technology and how it impacted the ways films were shot and stories were constructed. Funny and illuminating, and especially interesting to me given my recent-ish dive into the history of horror movies (for Until Dawn purposes). Hbomb is always good value.

While we’re digging into the ins and outs of pop culture history, have a look at this bizarrely enthralling ride through the evolution (and collapse) of a branch of Disney parks, couched in the mystery of a kidnapped animatronic. It’s got niche nostalgia, it’s got urban exploration, it’s got high-stakes police investigations–everything you could want!

White Hero, Sidekick of Colour: Why Marvel Needs to Break the Cycle – there is diversity within the MCU cast, for sure, but their non-white characters tend to fall into certain types of roles… something that is overwhelmingly obvious now that it’s a pattern across a decade’s worth of movies.

How YouTube Made a Star Out of a Super Smart Film Critic – an interview with/feature on Lindsay Ellis, which provides some interesting insights into her life and her work. Her first quote of the piece is also “which Starscream should I use?”, proving she is truly a woman of the people.

Boys Can Be Princesses Too: Challenging Gendered Stereotypes in Huggto! Precure – a look at the most recent instalment in the magical girl juggernaut, and how its main male character enjoys things and aesthetics considered traditionally feminine without this being a problem or an oddity.

And, as The Promised Neverland wraps up, do take a look at Atelier Emily’s analysis of its cinematography and visual language, which is as always fascinating.

Also: look at this April Fool’s crossover art between two of my favourite shows from last year!

Aaaaand hey… let’s finish on a tune. You ever get into a conversation that feels like chewing gravel, but can’t put your finger on why, until you realise It’s Just How That Person Is? Chris Fleming has a song about that.

Take care, everyone!

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The Monster Mash: February ’19 Roundup

promised neverland mood

Welp, there goes February! I don’t have too much to report nor wax philosophical about this time round. Summer has come to an end (though we all know the heat will continue stubbornly and spitefully into autumn) and school/work is back in full swing, meaning I am back to being pumped up on Learning and Mentoring and Knowledge!! and also back to being exhausted at the end of every day. I’m juggling a lot of big projects, which is daunting but very exciting. But hey, I still found time to blog! And here those blog posts are:

On the blog:

The Trickster Archetype in Pop Culture, Part Three: Tricky Ladies – another dive into myth and fiction, this time through Lori Landay’s concept of the feminine Trickster.

The Promised Neverland and the (Horrifying!) Ideal of Pure Childhood – a look at how the series uses Victorian imagery of the innocent, pastoral child who will never grow up for horror effect.

Cool web content:

This short video essay delves into the “adaptational attractiveness” trope and the tendency for characters to be way hotter than is reasonable in their screen versions… and how this is not just a problem with relatability and beauty standards, but how it can be symptomatic of a character’s flaws being wiped away in the adaptation process.

How Authentic is The Good Place Version of Australia? An Investigation – asking the big questions and revealing a wealth of puns I didn’t pick up on the first watch, this hard-hitting analysis dives in detail into the portrayal of my home country in The Good Place.

The Fractured and Famous: Celebrity Culture and Control in Perfect Blue – Priya Sridhar examines Perfect Blue and its psychological horror narrative next to the #MeToo movement and how the film has, horrifyingly, not only remained relevant decades after its release but seems to have predicted much of contemporary celebrity culture.

Marketing Representation in Dragalia Lost – is queer rep that’s mostly there to try and suck our money into a gacha game system still good queer rep?

1919 – 2019: Yuri From Then to Now – celebrating a century of the yuri genre, its foremost scholar Erica Friedman presents a brief, introductory look at its roots and its evolution.

The Five Worst Dates in Dragon Age – spicy hot takes, worded beautifully, about the lamest romantic encounters you can have in the fantasy RPG series. Endorsed by the creator himself!

Superhero Costume Design is Finally Getting the Recognition It Deserves – in the leadup to the Oscars, a dive into the evolution of superhero costume design in film and why it’s a lot more work than people give it credit for (and Black Panther won! So yay!!)

Kase-san and Pure Yuri – Abby muses on just what is so great about the Kase-san series, how it handles its love story, and how it leans away from the harmful tropey bits of both Class S and shoujo romance to create something fresh and new.

And that’s a wrap. Take care everyone!

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Hey There, Demons: January ’19 Roundup

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It’s me, ya girl!

And so passes January, the first month of 2019 and perhaps my least heterosexual month of blogging ever. As I wrote in my latest post, it turns out that examining queer tropes is important to me. The idea for that Bloom Into You article planted itself (no pun intended) in my brain not long after the show premiered back in October, but, well, it turns out that hurling your own story out into the digital void takes more emotional energy and general bravado than I initially realised. I finished it, though, and got some lovely responses across the platforms where it was shared. So thank you to everyone who gave it (and my other writings here) a read; writing has always been what I do to make sense of things, and I feel like through projects like this I’m really beginning to find my feet. I haven’t written out the words “I’m biromantic asexual” before, and this month I did it twice, in a row (and a third time just then!!), which is a big yikes but also feels pretty good. I will be celebrating both Twenty-Bi-teen and Twenty-None-teen this year, and doing the best I can to improve and embrace myself.

Oh, and I lived through a monstrous heatwave this month too, but that hardly makes for a heartfelt roundup introduction, does it?

On the blog:

The Trickster Archetype in Pop Culture, Part Two: Better the Devil You Know – my exploration of the Trickster in modern media continues! “It would be more accurate to call Loki the archetypal little shit than to say he’s truly Evil” may be one my favourite lines I’ve written

Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Aces, Alchemy, and Ancient Magic – the reviews and recommendations continue with Let’s Talk About Love, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, and Summer of Salt

Bloom Into You (and Me), a Story About How Representation is Important – I get my feelings about Bloom Into You‘s great premiere out of my system in longform, mixed with some personal essay-ing about why I’m so passionate about representation in fiction

On Anime Feminist:

Rewriting the Script: Revue Starlight‘s Rejection of Tragic Queer Tropes – a dive into how my favourite swashbuckling theatre anime interrogates historical tropes like ‘Bury Your Gays’ in its beautifully meta finale

Fun and funky further reading:

And/or viewing, because I’ve found some particularly fun video content this month:

Surprising absolutely no one, my first recommendation for this month is Lindsay Ellis’ new video digging into the Death of the Author theory. It’s a lot of fun, and very informative, and features John Green physically manifesting in her home upon her trash-talking his book. It stirred up some really interesting conversations between me and my friends about the changing landscape of fame and writing.

Brian Gilbert gives a crash course on The Good Ol’ Monomyth and Kingdom Hearts, which… well, I can confidently say he explains the first one well, but as for the franchise itself? I haven’t been involved with it, so others will have to chime in there. Though even he gets a little lost…

The newly-discovered (by me, anyway) Jenny Nicholson breaks down sensationalist thriller Trigger Warning, which is exactly as dumb as it sounds… including a dive into the meta-story surrounding the book’s author and how it came to be which ends up significantly more thrilling and twist-filled than the novel itself. A long watch, but deeply enthralling, in a “watching a train wreck” sort of way.

Now, onto good old fashioned text articles:

The New Spider-Man Movie Makes Live-Action Superheroes Look Boring – a celebration of Into the Spider-Verse and The Incredibles 2 as well as a look into the devaluing of animation as a medium, despite the wonders it can achieve.

Every Bizarre Bit of Transformers Movie Lore that Bumblebee Retcons Out of Existence – exactly what it promises. God, these movies were… so much. Bumblebee was a delight and I’m happy this franchise has somehow been pried from Michael Bay’s hands.

The 2,500-Year-Old History of Adults Blaming the Younger Generation – the more things change, the more they stay the same. I think my favourite part of this article is the implication that chess was the Fortnite of its day.

How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ended Up in a Donkey Kong 64 Charity Twitch Stream – in case you missed it, here is a neat summary of one of the most mind-boggling and heart-warming stories from this month, in which video essayist HBomberguy (of “Sherlock is Garbage and Here’s Why” fame) hosted a ridiculously successful Twitch event for a trans charity.

And of course it was time for a new season of anime, so be sure to peruse the AniFem premiere guide to see what looks good! (Can you believe it’s already been a year since A Place Further Than the Universe and Laid-Back Camp came out and stole my heart?)

And that brings us to the end of the first roundup of 2019! Take care out there, as always.

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Ragnarök and Roll: December ’18 Roundup

skullface honda-san books

If this is the December roundup, I guess it must be the roundup of 2018 as well–a year that simultaneously felt like it lasted 1,000 years and felt like it lasted six minutes.

It’s been a big year for writing, once again. As of now I’m officially one year into a PhD (!), which, if all goes according to plan, is one third of the way through. I have been told that my first year went pretty well, and bewildered as I am I’ll have to trust my supervisors on that. It feels like I’ve learnt so much, yet at the same time I feel like I’m treading water in a sea of things I still need to know and understand. But that’s probably pretty normal–I don’t have to be an Expert in anything just yet, and I’m having a good time finding my feet and my groove.

I have a journal paper currently in the peer review process, hopefully for publication in the middle of next year–in the meantime, though, if you want to peek at what I’m studying, you can take a gander at this conference presentation I gave (my second ever!) on playing with tropes!

Somehow, I managed to sneak in some feature writing this year too: the AniFem team continues to be a delight to work with, and I’m proud of the work they’ve helped me craft and put out this year. I like all three of the pieces I got published (and the next one in the pipeline, too, but that’s a behind-the-scenes secret) but am particularly fond of this one comparing the relationships in The Camping Anime versus The Ramen Anime. I also wrote a couple of pieces for The Asexual, both published in their journal and for their general website. It feels a little spooky writing so openly about my own experiences with my sexuality (especially that first one), but I’m getting the hang of it with the frame of fiction to guide me. Lady Geek Girl and Friends unfortunately closed its doors early this year, but I had a whale of a time writing for them while it lasted, too.

On the blog this month:

The Paladin Caper: The Gang Saves The World – Rogues of the Republic comes to an end, with a fizzle rather than a bang, and I question whether a big epic plot is really more important than character development.

The Trickster Archetype in Pop Culture, Part One: Down with the System! – the Trickster is a very versatile archetype, which is how I’m able to talk about Marvel’s Deadpool and Roald Dahl’s Matilda in the same post. The first of a series!

A Big Ol’ Pile of Anime Recommendations (2018) – my favourite new series I watched this year, all collected in one place!

Cool web content:

Laid Back Camp (5)

Cursed with Insecurity: Howl’s Moving Castle in Print and Film – a look at the different approaches to Sophie and Howl (and their relationship) in Diana Wynne Jones’ novel versus the Ghibli adaptation, and what kind of message each version sends

Defining and Redefining Popular Genres: The Evolution of ‘New Adult’ Fiction – a journal article about how genre is fake (my mantra for the year), or, at least, how genre should be considered an ever-evolving and organic thing rather than something static and decided by a set group of people. And what the hell is a ‘new adult’ book anyway?

Bloom Into You, Touko Nanami, and the Terror of Social Performance – a character study of Touko and her deep-seated self-doubt, and how her struggles and flaws are relatable.

Double Decker‘s Treatment of Trans Characters Leaves a Lot to be Desired – a breakdown of how exactly the Tiger and Bunny spinoff dropped the ball when it introduced trans characters to its cast, disappointing many viewers (myself included) who were initially excited for the show.

“We Must Be Strong, and We Must Be Brave”: Power and Women in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power – how the delightful reboot places emphasis on different kinds of strength, not just those that come from magical swords.

The Invention of the Passive Fairy Tale Heroine – tracking the shift in fairy tale tropes over time and how they reflected cultural shifts taking place.

On Laid-Back Camp and Nature as Society’s Companion Rather Than Society’s Foe – how my new favourite slice-of-life show upturns the common “hur dur technology bad, get away from it all and experience the wilderness” narrative by portraying tech instead as something that enhances the characters’ experience of nature and brings them closer to each other.

Different Interpretations as Solidarity, Not Opposition – there’s been a lot of talk about how Yuu of Bloom Into You can be read as either an aromantic asexual or a lesbian, and this article takes the “why not both?” approach, in terms of both how sexuality is a spectrum and how different viewer’s interpretations can be valuable to the overall conversation around such things in media.

My gosh, and I think that wraps us up for 2018. As always, thank you for reading, and take care out there in the wide world!

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Dabbing at the Edge of the World: November ’18 Roundup

DAB

When this post goes live, I will be on the other side of the country. And jeez, my country is a big country. You can literally get from my state to New Zealand, twice, in the time it takes to travel from one coast to another. But hey, that leaves plenty of time for reading! Or, as it turns out, watching the entirety of Noelle Stevenson’s She-Ra (and injecting magical girl warrior energy directly into the veins to quell flying anxieties. It works surprisingly well!).

Since I’ve been travelling and busily conference-going, there perhaps aren’t as many links as there usually are in the roundup this month. But, as the year winds down, I’m sure we can expect plenty of Good Stuff celebrating the media that has shaped 2018 (I’m particularly excited for the 12 Days of Anime posts that… people who aren’t me diligently put out every year). As for this little corner of the internet, if you like my mythology-meets-pop culture posts, I have an exciting new series (that’s right!) coming your way soon.

On the blog this month:

Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Music, Mythology, and Murder Mystery (not one, not two, but three book reviews as I try out a new format showcasing the versatility of the YA genre and show off how much I’m reading)

“It’s Not Over ’til it’s Over”: The Post-Apocalyptic Optimism of Girls Last Tour (a discussion of a surprisingly heartfelt and gentle story set after the end of the world that rolled out of nowhere to be one of my favourite anime I’ve watched this year)

Cool web content:

In which Polygon publishes the results of a Very Important Investigation about the books you can find in Skyrim. It ends up being not only quite funny but also a lesson in effective worldbuilding!

Impossibilities in Translating Queerness: Suki or Not Suki? – the team that brought us the Queerness Quadrants theory I linked to last time continues their dive into the ins and outs of queer analysis of anime, this time launching into linguistics and how sometimes love can literally get lost in translation.

ConCrit in Comments Only: What Writing Fanfiction Taught Me as an Editor – a professional editor who embraces her fanficcy past talks about why it shouldn’t be shrugged off as work with no merit, as it can teach writers (and readers, and editors) valuable skills about worldbuilding, consistency, and what draws an audience to a story.

How Writers Map Their Imaginary Worlds – a neat piece from Atlas Obscura about the map-making and worldbuilding methods of various authors.

The Flower Language of Bloom Into You (Part One) (Part Two) – Emily Rand brings her knowledge of flower symbolism to an in-depth analysis of the visual symbolism in Bloom Into You.

Why the “Closeted Homophobe” Trope Needs to Die – you know how if someone is really mean to gay people it definitely just means they’re secretly gay themselves and are angry about it so they’re turning their self-loathing into external bullying? You know how that’s actually a really dumb and harmful stereotype? Vrai goes through the history of the trope in fiction, its real-world implications, and exactly why it’s so nasty in this essay.

That wraps us up for November. Now, soon I have another plane to catch, so I suppose I will get to more reading and see you on the other side (…of the country). Take care!

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